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PREP SOFTBALL: Eagles, Grizzlies split twin bill

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Eagle Point claims opener, but Ashland roars back in Game 2 of MWL doubleheader

Ashland played like a team that hadn’t seen any game action yet this season early on but was able to build momentum throughout and salvage a Midwestern League softball split with Eagle Point at North Mountain Park on Friday afternoon.

The visiting Eagles secured a 4-0 lead through two innings and carried that through for a 6-4 win in the opening game of the MWL doubleheader, while the Grizzlies bounced back with an early surge and big effort by sophomore Glory Pistole to win the nightcap, 13-1 in five innings.

“I really think having our first game rained out on Tuesday led to Game 1,” said Ashland coach Bobby Heiken. “We had a couple errors and they jumped on us early. We were slow getting out of the gate but once we got going, I think that spilled over into Game 2.”

Eagle Point (2-1, 1-1 MWL) was coming off a 16-5 romp over Hidden Valley on Thursday and got the offense brewing early again Friday, scoring one run in the first inning and building a nice cushion with a three-run second inning.

The Eagles had only pushed one run across the plate before Ashland (1-1, 1-1) recorded the second out, but a clutch RBI single by Emilee Nielsen and ensuing RBI double by Jocelyn Hanan allowed them to go up 4-0.

Junior pitcher Kyra Smith limited Ashland to only one hit through four innings, although the Grizzlies were finally able to get on the scoreboard with two runs in the third inning after Pistole singled and Gabby Heiken drew a walk. Pistole was able to score on a double steal, and Heiken pulled Ashland within 4-2 by scoring on a passed ball.

The Eagles were able to answer in the top of the fourth by scoring two unearned runs on a bunt to help salt the game away.

Sydney Boren had three hits and one RBI and Hanan added two hits and one RBI in the opener for EP, while Pistole and Heiken each went 2-for-2.

“It took us until the fifth inning when we finally got going,” said coach Heiken. “We started getting confidence and we knew we were close to putting things together. We had about a minute and a half talk after the first game about that and just forged ahead.”

The nightcap proved to be a far different story, with Ashland switching up its lineup slightly and scoring three runs in the first and four more in the second to build a 7-1 lead.

Pistole, who moved from the No. 2 spot to the cleanup hitter role in Game 2, supplied a walk-off grand slam to end the contest by mercy rule in the fifth inning. Pistole finished 3-for-3 with seven RBIs, while her chess piece counterpart Shelby Brown went 3-for-4 ahead of No. 3 hitter Heiken, who was 2-for-3.

“Just making that move totally changed the whole dynamic of things,” said coach Heiken. “It was good to see. Glory’s got some pop and obviously she’s got the softball smarts going with her growing up in a softball family (as the daughter of Southern Oregon University coach Jessica Pistole).”

“Glory’s kind of stepping into her own and it’s what we needed,” he added of the sophomore. “That 1-2 punch is something we haven’t really had with Gabby in the past and Glory is stepping up and filling that role.”

Eagle Point, which got two hits from Nielsen, scored its lone run in the second inning when Madysin Gray singled home Sydney Bruner.

After Pistole only allowed four earned runs in the opener, Heiken pitched the first four innings and allowed four hits in Game 2 before handing the ball over to her counterpart for a hitless fifth inning.

Kate Theobald added an RBI double and Tessa Hobein supplied an RBI triple to help boost Ashland’s 10-hit effort in the nightcap.

FIRST GAME

Eagle Point1302000—690

Ashland0020110—462

Smith, Nielsen (5), Boren (6) and Hanan; Pistole and Theobald. W — Smith (2-0). L — Pistole (0-1). 2B — EP: Mullen, Hanan; A: Jenkins.

SECOND GAME

Eagle Point01000—142

Ashland34114—13101

Smith, Boren (2) and Mullen; Heiken, Pistole (5) and Theobald. W — Heiken (1-0). L — Smith (2-1). 2B — A: Brown, Pistole, Theobald. 3B — A: Hobein. HR — Pistole (1).

CENTRAL CATHOLIC 1, NORTH MEDFORD 0, 8 inn.: At Portland, North Medford right-hander Gabbi Urban scattered just five hits, but Central Catholic was able to get a walk-off single with two outs in the eighth inning to beat the seventh-ranked Black Tornado at Delta Park.

Central Catholic (2-0) was able to take advantage of a leadoff walk to open the bottom of the eighth, as shortstop Elle Merlino moved into scoring position on a fielder’s choice and then came around to score the game-winning run on a single to right by catcher Vivian Moore.

Urban, a sophomore, struck out nine and walked three in 7 2/3 innings.

Central Catholic starting pitcher Ally Hyde limited North (1-1) to just three hits and walked one while striking out 14 in a complete-game shutout. She struck out seven batters the first time through the Black Tornado lineup.

North’s Emily Dunn, Samara Miles and Alexis Wadley all went 1-for-3.

North Medford00000000—030

Central Cathlolic00000001—150

Urban and Lawton; Hyde and Moore. W — Hyde. L — Urban (1-1). 2B — NM: Miles; CC: Huston.

CRATER 13-21, NORTH BEND 1-0: At North Bend, Crater opened its 2022 season in a big way, recording a pair of mercy rule victories against Midwestern League foe North Bend.

Crater’s Alex Perez limited North Bend (0-2, 0-2 MWL) to three hits and struck out eight in five innings of work in Game 1, while Suzy Foster and Kaylee Lundeen each threw two innings to record a combined no-hitter in the nightcap. Foster and Lundeen faced just seven hitters apiece, with the latter striking out five of the seven hitters she faced.

Crater (2-0, 2-0) got a combined 31 hits in the doubleheader, including 21 in Game 2 alone. The Comets used a 10-run top of the sixth to break open Game 1, while scoring 12 runs in the third inning in Game 2 to take a commanding early lead.

Comets senior Kaylynn Wolchok went 3-for-8 overall, hitting a pair of doubles and scoring three runs in Game 1 and then crushing a three-run home run during Crater’s big third-inning surge in Game 2.

Fellow senior Sophia Van Wey drove in five runs against North Bend, including hitting three doubles and scoring three runs in Game 2. Maddie Sheadel (3-for-4), Lilli Reid (2-for-2) and Grace Aldrich (2-for-2) all had multi-hit days in Game 2, with Sheadel and Reid recording two RBIs apiece while Aldrich drove in three.

FIRST GAME

Crater10110(10)—13100

North Bend000001—155

Perez, Allen (6) and Reid; Shore and Breakfield. W — Perez (1-0). L — Shore. 2B — C: Wolchok 2, Sease, Kilbane; NB: Shore.

SECOND GAME

Crater10(12)8—21210

North Bend0000—004

S. Foster, Lundeen (3) and Reid, Aldrich (3); Reynon and Breakfield. W — S. Foster (1-0). L — Reynon. 2B — C: Sheadel, Van Wey 3, Reid 2, Aldrich. 3B — C: Davis. HR — C: Wolchok (1).

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneAshland's Glory Pistole delivers a pitch during Game 1 Friday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneEagle Point's Emilee Nielsen gets to first base safe off a bunt during Game 1 Friday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneAshland's Gabby Heiken slides to home plate safe during Game 1 Friday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneEagle Point's Kyra Smith delivers a pitch during Game 1 Friday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneEagle Point's Emilee Nielsen slides to home-plate safe during Game 1 Friday afternoon.
Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneEagle Point's Jocelyn Hanan slides to third base safe during Game 1 Friday afternoon.